How “Green” are your Clothes?
June 6, 2018
Who doesn’t love new clothing at a “steal” of a price? I know I do. However, have you ever given any thought to how “green” or environmentally conscious the clothes you’re buying are? Everyone loves the idea of saving money; and when shirts are only $5, why not buy five of them? But what are the real price and environmental cost we’re all paying for our clothes?
What Price do you really pay for fast fashion?
Although you may think you’re getting your new clothes at a great price, it is costing you more than you think. Fast fashion may not be so cheap after all when you consider the other non-monetary costs.
Fast fashion comes at a huge cost to the environment. To provide you with the lowest prices, many environmentally sustainable practices are lowly funded or cut from the production process. These practices would include recycling of fabric and water waste, water conservation, reducing the use of chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers, and reducing the use of energy. Without these sustainable practices, fabric and clothing manufacturers are culprits to this huge environmental crisis. The textile industry is the second largest water polluter, with agriculture being the first. This is because fabric undergoes many dyeing and treatment processes during production. Also, pesticides and other chemicals are used to grow fibers, like cotton, to make the fabric. According to Elizabeth Cline, clothing and textiles account for over 6 percent of the landfill waste in America. About 15% of clothes are donated or recycled leaving a whopping 85% that ends up in landfills. This equals to about 10.5 million tons a year. Textiles have one of the poorest recycling rates of any reusable material (Cline, 2014).
How does fast fashion affect you?
Besides the fact that this industry is damaging your environment, and for the generations to come, you are directly affected by the longevity of these trendy pieces. Fast Fashion isn’t made using premium materials, but the cheapest materials on the market to be able to provide to a mass demand at a low price. It seems that after just three washes, these pieces start to wear and tear. With trends constantly moving forward, there is no reason to repair these pieces. Instead, new fast fashion is purchased and old is thrown away. There is no doubt that quality is sacrificed when fast fashion is produced and purchased.
What makes us different from a fast fashion company?
Since there is no question that we all need clothes, why don’t we make an effort in buying clothing from companies that value environmental sustainability?
Here at Amanda Joy & Co., we often use sustainable fibers which are fibers that are grown without pesticides and other harsh chemicals. We are proud that we recycle our textile waste and donate pieces that do not pass quality inspection instead of disposing into landfills. We do not manufacture our clothing in large quantities to where low-cost manufacturing would be necessary. We provide top quality garments by using premium fabrics, low quantities, and in-house manufacturing.
It turns out that fast fashion is costlier than portrayed. With the cheap clothing you buy, not only are you giving up quality (ultimately forcing you to purchase more and more clothing to replace wearing pieces) but you are also sacrificing your environment, costing you the worlds natural resources. Is your $5 shirt really worth it? Do you know who is making the shirt you are wearing? Is the brand you love recycling the fabric they don’t use? It’s time to make smart and sustainable decisions when it comes to clothing.
Cline, Elizabeth. “Where Does Discarded Clothing Go?” 18 July 2014. The Atlantic.
Perry, Pasty. “The Enviornmental Costs of Fast Fashion .” 8 January 2018. Independent.